Hali Bey Ramdene's Recent Articles
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The Kitchn’s Most Popular Drinks of 2015
Give us fruit, give us fizz, and don’t forget a splash of something boozy. This year sangria, pitcher cocktails, and one creamy, dreamy milkshake stole the show when it came to the things we loved to stir, shake, sip, and pour. The double punch of fresh peaches and peach brandy really make this sangria seem like summer in a glass. We bet you’ll love munching on the flavored fruit after finishing the whole pitcher.
May 1, 2019
What’s the Best Way to Beat Egg Whites?
Q: Should the egg whites be at room temperature in a warm bowl? Sent by Loretta Editor: This answer partially depends on what you plan to do with the egg whites, but to find the best general answer to this question, we have to look to the science of how egg whites work. Here’s what Associate Food Editor Emma has to say: “Generally speaking, eggs beat best if they are fresh and cold.
May 1, 2019
What Do I Do with Himalayan Pink Salt?
Q: For Christmas I received some pink Himalayan salt. I thought, “How fun! An ingredient that I wouldn’t ordinarily buy for myself, but it’s so nice to have.” But now I realize I don’t know how to use it. I noticed your post about Faith’s three essential salts, and I hoped the pink Himalayan would be listed. It wasn’t, so now I am stumped. What are the best ways/dishes/times to use pink Himalayan salt?
May 1, 2019
How Do I Use Up Dried Cilantro?
Q: I just purchased a huge bag of dried cilantro from Nuts.com, and I really have no idea how to use it. I have no idea what to do with all this cilantro! Can you give me any ideas? Sent by Lorraine Editor: A few summers ago I went mad and dehydrated my entire garden. I mean everything — from the tomatoes and eggplants down to every single herb, including the cilantro.
May 1, 2019
How Do I Save a Broken Salad Dressing?
Q: I made a salad dressing a couple of days ago from lime juice and zest, olive oil, shallots, garlic, and cilantro. I used some on a salad and stored the rest in a Mason jar in the fridge. Today it’s solid on the top and liquid on bottom — it that the olive oil? Is it safe to eat? If so, how do I make it into a dressing again? Shaking the jar is doing nothing. Sent by Gail Editor: Don’t fret.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Ruth Reichl’s Savory Sweet Pasta for Michael
There’s a joke in my family that I inherited my love of the daily market run from my dad. It hardly ever bothers me to run to the store to pick up a few items to make dinner. In fact, I love poking around the produce aisle for something that inspires, reading the back of packages, and staring into the infinite abyss of the cereal aisle, even if I end up walking away empty-handed. But you know what?
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Alice Waters’ Chickpea and Broccoli Rabe Soup
Last summer, by absolute luck, I scored a last-minute reservation at Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Cafe in Berkley, California. It was during the height of the busy graduation season, and the chances of booking a table on the day of the request was highly unlikely. But it happened, and I was ushered into the cafe to a table near the window and proceeded to order nearly everything on the menu.
May 1, 2019
Can I Convert Slow-Cooker Recipes to Stovetop?
Q: I see a lot of very good-looking, healthy recipes popping up on my Pinterest feed and also on The Kitchn, but a slow cooker is needed. I don’t own one and I’m not planning to buy one, due to lack of storage space, but I still would love to try some of the recipes. Is there any way to convert slow-cooker recipes to make them in the oven or on the stovetop? (Of course, I would be making them when I’m around and not leave my stove running while at work.
May 1, 2019
The Surprise Ingredient You Should Add to Your Smoothie
Every morning, almost on autopilot, I make a smoothie — tossing spinach, a nub of pungent ginger, a generous squeeze of lemon, and apple into my blender, along with a splash of coconut water. Then came the morning when I opened the fridge and realized I was completely out of apples, so I took to the freezer, hoping I had something lurking in there that would work as a worthy and delicious substitution.
May 1, 2019
How Do I Make Crispy, Custardy Tofu at Home?
Q: I recently traveled to China and had several meals that featured tofu. I’d never really enjoyed tofu before, but what I ate in China was a revelation: crispy outside, creamy and custardy inside, and sometimes served in broth or with a sauce. How can I recreate this amazing texture at home? I’m a pretty skilled cook, but have never cooked with tofu before so I don’t even know where to begin. Sent by Marcella Editor: I’m with you.
May 1, 2019
What Can I Do to Make the Texture of Mushrooms More Palatable?
Q: I like the taste of mushrooms, but the texture kills me. When cooked, they take on almost a … rubbery consistency to me. I was wondering if anyone has suggestions for a specific type of mushroom or type of preparation so that I can tolerate the texture better? Sent by Whitney Editor: Fascinating! I’m happy to hear you do enjoy mushrooms from a flavor standpoint, because they’re a great, savory umami-booster in the kitchen. I have a few questions for you, though.
May 1, 2019
How Long Does It Take to Cook Fresh Spinach?
Q: How long does it take to cook fresh spinach and what extras should I add to the spinach while it is cooking? Sent by April Editor: Fresh spinach cooks in mere minutes — seconds, really. This green immediately begins to wilt once it hits the heat, so a fast hand and some smart prep make things easier. Despite how quickly it begins to soften, spinach’s flavor is pretty bold.
May 1, 2019
3 Tips for Buying and Storing Fresh Ginger
Is a spicy stir-fry on the menu this week? Are you going make a really zippy cup of ginger tea to beat the winter chill? Ginger is one of our go-to ingredients for adding flavor and heat to a dish, but before you can add it to the recipe of your choice, you’ve got to pick up the perfect hand or knob. Here are a few tips to help you do just that. Picking a fresh hand of ginger requires you to use a few sensory cues. Look for ginger with shiny, taut skin.
May 1, 2019
Why Does My Homemade Vanilla Extract Still Taste Like Alcohol?
Q: How can I fix homemade vanilla extract that still tastes like alcohol? Should I add more beans? It has been five weeks. I chopped the vanilla beans, but the extract only has a slight taste of vanilla. Sent by Cornelia Editor: If your extract still tastes of alcohol, that shouldn’t be of too much concern — especially given you’re still on the short end of the steeping time. Wait a bit longer; give it at least another month before calling it.
May 1, 2019
Can You Help Me Troubleshoot Oatmeal Cookies?
Q: I love soft, chewy oatmeal cookies, but I’ve never managed to get them right. I blame it on the fact that they never spread. I’ve tried using different recipes; regular butter, fat-reduced butter, and margarine; sugar, stevia, and a 50-50 combination, and its always the same. I’m left with the heap or ball of dough I placed on the baking sheet. And because of this, I felt the need to bake them a little longer so they weren’t completely raw anymore.
May 1, 2019
What Do I Do About the Dreaded Roomate-Dirty Dishes Situation?
Q: My roommate is lazy. She leaves dishes piled up and trash everywhere, and claims she will clean it, but waits weeks to do so. I refuse to live in filth so I always end up cleaning it up. What is a good way to ask her to stop being so lazy without causing major conflict? Sent by Haley Editor: We’ve all been there, Haley!
May 1, 2019
Add Some Sparkle to Your Smoothies with This Ingredient
Sometimes it feels like we’ve exhausted all the ways to bring something new to a smoothie. Then a while ago I began adding frozen fennel to my smoothies, and felt like it was a complete game changer. That was a discovery that came out of necessity, and then necessity reared its head again with another way to bring something new to the morning blend. Something sparkly. Mineral water, sparkling water, and seltzer have now become my liquid of choice for smoothies.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Slow-Cooker Yogurt Soup with Daikon
One of the first things I learned when I began using a slow cooker was to avoid dairy, or at the very least, wait to add it at the end of cooking since it would curdle or separate if cooked for a longer period of time. Which is why I was surprised to find a recipe in Neela Paniz’s cookbook, The Indian Slow Cooker, for yogurt soup. Not only did I find the concept of a hot yogurt soup intriguing, but I was also interested in the fact that it could be done in the slow cooker at all.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Slow-Cooker Lemon Dal
There are endless ways to season a dal. In my family, a tadka of black pepper and burnt garlic is added at the very end of cooking to bring an astringent bite to the velvety slip of puréed lentils. In this recipe, Neela brings the lush acidity of lemon to tender pink lentils and cooks them until creamy in a slow cooker. This isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it kind of slow-cooker recipe. Cook it on high and it buys you two hours of hands-off cooking.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Slow Cooker Pork Vindaloo
As with any country, you can find traces of its history in its cuisine. Pork vindaloo, famed for its fiery heat, speaks directly to the Portuguese occupation of the southern Indian state of Goa. As Neela explains, “Carne de vinha d’alhos, a Portuguese dish made with pork, was the basis of the now-famous vindaloo served in Indian restaurants. Although many make it with lamb, chicken, or shrimp, I prefer the original recipe with pork, redolent of tamarind, vinegar, and black pepper.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: 10-Hour Slow Cooker Chana Masala
And that's a good thing.
May 1, 2019
How Should I Use My Overload of Pickled Green Tomatoes?
Q: I made the mistake of letting my husband go to our local pickling shop alone. I now have two-and-a-half quarts of pickled green tomatoes and one quart of pickled garlic with capers. Do you know of any recipes that would help to use them up? While delicious, I feel like the two of us will get bored quickly simply snacking on them … or go into a salt overload. Thank you! Sent by Sydney Editor: I laughed out loud when I read this email, just imagining what your reaction might have been!
May 1, 2019
Do I Need to Refrigerate Fresh Sprouted Bread?
Q: The Ezekiel bread I had been using is sold frozen, and then you refrigerate it. I have now found a bakery that sells sprouted bread fresh. Should it be refrigerated? Sent by Sandra Editor: Sprouted breads, especially when purchased fresh from a bakery, tend to be more susceptible to spoilage because they lack the preservatives found in commercially produced bread. How you store the bread really depends on how quickly you’re going to consume it and how you plan on using it.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Lamb Bolognese
Traditionally, bolognese uses a mixture of ground beef and veal to create a rich, meaty sauce that’s perfect for spooning over thick noodles like pappardelle. Using ground lamb adds a complexity and distinctness to the classic sauce. This recipe also differs in that it incorporates some slightly nontraditional flavor elements that pair well with lamb, like cinnamon and coriander. Lamb has a faint gamey taste that sets it apart from other ground meats like beef or pork.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Chicken Empanadas
Chicken’s versatility has earned it a place on the table at least once a week. And while a golden roast chicken will always be a classic favorite, and chicken breast maintain their claim to ease, heartier cuts like chicken thighs and blank-canvas options like ground chicken allow us to do even more with the bird. Doing more now includes making these hearty chicken empanadas.
May 1, 2019
Should I Buy a Whole Duck or Duck Breast?
Q: There are very few things I have never prepared before, but I am chomping at the bit to jump in and experiment with domesticated duck. I have cooked wild/game duck a zillion times, but oh my goodness, that is a completely different animal. Most recipes seem to feature duck breast. Should I attempt to buy a whole duck and section it — reserving the other parts for different dishes? Do groceries typically sell duck breasts individually packaged?
May 1, 2019
What Are Some Easy Vacation Meals to Make for a Large Crowd?
Q: We’re planning a week-long summer family beach house trip (10 to 14 people; two older kids). What are some easy meals for a large crowd? As the resident family planner, I’d rather not “wing it” like some thou-shalt-not-be-named family members. While I love cereal, sandwiches, hot dogs, and burgers, I can only eat so much! Sent by Jen Editor: I’m with you, Jen. Do the planning now so you can kick back and enjoy your vacation.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Dan Dan Noodles
The combination of ground pork, robust chile oil, chewy noodles, and dried preserved vegetables make dan dan noodles — a dish from the Sichuan region of China — a delicious option when you’re looking for a new way to use ground pork. Don’t be alarmed by all the steps in this recipe. They aren’t overly time-consuming — especially if you have a second set of hands helping with the prep. The chili oil alone is worth making to drizzle over pizza or eggs.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Savory Cacio e Pepe Cookies
Of all the reasons cacio e pepe — a Roman pasta made with black pepper, Pecorino Romano cheese, and olive oil or butter — has skyrocketed back into the limelight, we’re willing to wager its simplicity is the key. Made with just three ingredients, the pasta has inspired everything from roasted potatoes to these savory cookies infused with Parmesan and flecked with black pepper.
May 1, 2019
Can You Help Me Figure Out What Happened to My Lemon Bars?
Q: I set out to try a new lemon bar recipe and instead pulled off quite the confectionary magic trick. I prepared and pre-baked the crust, exactly as the recipe directed, and then I poured the lemon filling over the crust and baked the whole thing until it was set. When I pulled the pan out of the oven, I found that the crust and lemon filling had somehow switched places. The in-tact crust was on top and the lemon filling was below it. Ta-da!
May 1, 2019
Can I Use Gluten-Free Flours Past the Due Date?
Q: I inherited several pounds of gluten-free flours from a friend who is moving — two bags each of potato starch, spelt flour, and rice flour. What should I do with it all? I’ve done lots of gluten-free baking, but mostly with premade blends or almond meal. Also, the flours are several months past the sell-by date, but unopened. Do you think they’re still good? Thanks! Sent by Wendy Editor: Maybe. Were they stored in the fridge or freezer?
May 1, 2019
How Can I Prevent Fumes When Cooking Chiles?
Q: I’m suffocated by chiles! What I mean is that I love to cook spicy food, and add chiles to everything (mostly stir-fries, but also omelettes, pasta sauce, and really anything). The problem is, my apartment does not have a range hood. Short of moving, I can’t see a solution to the fact that every time I add chiles to a dish, even at the very end, they produce terrible noxious fumes.
May 1, 2019
How Do I Discard of Used Cooking Oil?
Q: What do you do with (or how do you dispose of) used cooking oil from things like fried chicken and donuts? Sent by Sheila Editor: What to do with used cooking oil is perhaps one of the biggest reasons people avoid frying. Dealing with the splatter is one thing, but what to do with that used oil poses a bigger question. Here are a few tips to help you figure out how to discard of it.
May 1, 2019
Are There Plant-Based Replacements for Gelatin?
Q: What’s a good plant-based replacement for gelatin in sheet or powder form? Sent by Danielle Editor: You’ve got quite a few options to choose from, and the one you go with depends on what you’re making. Overall, the best analog is Vegan Jel, a product made form vegetable gum and available in powdered form. You can find this at most health-food stores and often at Indian grocery stores. Agar agar and carrageenan — both derived from algae — are options as well.
May 1, 2019
What Vegetable Can I Substitute for Spaghetti Squash?
Q: Is there another vegetable that’s a good substitute for spaghetti squash? They are hard to find this time of year. Sent by Felicia Editor: If you’re taking advantage of the neutral flavor of spaghetti squash and its popular use as a noodle replacement, then zucchini is a good choice. Like spaghetti squash, it doesn’t have a very pronounced flavor and it can be turned into noodles with either a spiralizer or julienne peeler.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Ginger Kombucha Tonic
An after-dinner tonic made with a variety of herbs, including rosemary, sage, and mint, and topped off with kombucha is the perfect tonic to sip on after a meal has left you stuffed and bloated. Each ingredient in this tonic adds to the flavor and function of this drink. The sage and rosemary are carminative herbs and aid the body is producing the digestive juices that help accelerate the digestive process. Fresh ginger amplifies the gingery flavor of the kombucha and helps settle any nausea.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: After-Dinner Turmeric Spritzer
Meet the after-dinner spritzer. This is the drink to whip up after a particularly rich meal when your belly needs some help settling after too many enthusiastic bites at dinner. Turmeric plays a starring role in this spritzer, along with orange juice and apple cider vinegar, and together with a handful of herbs, this drink becomes the delicious solution for your full tummy woes.
May 1, 2019
How Do I Temper Bitter Zucchini?
Q: Recently I made a zucchini recipe that sounded good (honey, EVOO, orange zest, cayenne). It was all tossed together and grilled. To me, the zucchini tasted bitter. My husband suggested trying it again, but salting the zucchini first, as one would do with eggplant. Has anyone had this problem with bitterness in zucchini? Could it be because it’s a bit too early for zucchini? Does salting benefit zucchini?
May 1, 2019
What Are Some Things I Can Do with Chipped Beef?
Q: I received a package of chipped beef in my CSA this week. I’ve heard of creamed chipped beef, which is usually served on toast, but I have no idea what else I can do with this beef. Any suggestions? Sent by Olivia Editor: Although I don’t have any personal experience with it, I know that chipped beef brings up some nostalgic affection for some. If you aren’t in the know, chipped beef is salted, dry beef that’s cut into thin slices.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: 30-Minute Green Curry Braised Salmon
This recipe is the poster child of the perfect weeknight meal. It’s fast (done in 30 minutes); cooks in one pot, so cleanup is minimal; and it takes a familiar ingredient, in this case salmon, and makes it feel fresh and new. All that might seem like a tall order for a recipe, but this dish of braised salmon rises to the occasion quite deliciously. Weeknight braising isn’t often an option unless you got your act together the night before and put the slow cooker on in the morning.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Crispy Salmon Skin
Diane Morgan says there are two types of salmon eaters: the ones who like to eat crisp salmon skin and the ones who think eating the skin in any form is disgusting. I think it’s more like those who love salmon skin (the camp in which I am firmly planted) and those who haven’t experienced it at its best — ultra-crispy and cooked separate from the salmon itself until it tastes like, well, bacon. Yep, I’m pulling the bacon card.
May 1, 2019
What Can I Do with Anchovy Paste?
Q: I bought anchovy paste for a recipe and now I have no idea what else to use it for. I know it works in Caesar salad dressing and puttanesca, but what else? Also, how long does it last in the fridge? (I have the tube kind.) Thanks! Sent by Campbell Editor: Anchovy paste is one of those ingredients that I always have on hand because it’s a flavor amplifier — especially when used judiciously in the background of a dish.
May 1, 2019
Can I Store Grains and Spices in a Storage Unit During a Move?
Q: I am moving from NYC to Houston, Texas, but my belongings will be in storage in Texas for about three weeks. I have a great number of spices and terrific grains from my winter CSA that I know I won’t finish before the big move. I imagine my storage situation will be climate-controlled, but I can’t guarantee it. What from my pantry could survive transit and three weeks of storage in Texas in June, and what should I pitch?
May 1, 2019
How Do I Prevent Fruit from Sinking to the Bottom of Baked Goods?
Q: When making fruit cake, muffins, or cakes, how do you keep fruit and nuts from sinking to the bottom? Sent by Marvin Editor: The first thing I ever learned to bake were blueberry muffins. And every time I made these muffins, I ended up with a dense pool of blueberries at the bottom of the muffin wrapper. Turns out the simple trick is to toss the blueberries in a bit of flour just before folding them into the batter; same goes for the fruit you’re adding to any cake or baked good.
May 1, 2019
What’s That Weird Stuff Coming Out of Salmon?
You went to the store, bought yourself a gorgeous, pinky-red fillet of salmon, came home and cooked it just like the recipe said, and all of a sudden this white, filmy gunk has begun to seep out of your beautiful fish. Not cool salmon, not cool. So, what exactly is this stuff? What causes it to show up, and is there anything you can do to prevent it? Alright, let’s get straight to it. The white stuff (or albumin) is coagulated protein, not fat, which in my opinion is a relief.
May 1, 2019
I Have Fish Bones in My Throat. Now What?
One of my favorite stories to tell about my brother Grahame is the time he thought a pin bone from a fillet salmon was going to be his demise. He missed the thin, flexible bone when he took a bite of salmon and it became uncomfortably lodged in his throat, making him so worried that he insisted on being taken to the doctor for help.
May 1, 2019
How Do I Use Up the Stems of Chinese Spinach?
Q: I am an expat who lives in China. I often use the Chinese spinach leaves for salads, but I hate just throwing the stems away. I know there must be a wonderful way to cook them — can you help me find it? Sent by Jeani Editor: Jeani, you have come to the right place! Chinese spinach is more akin to bok choy than the spinach we have in the States, which means you should look to recipes that use that veggie for inspiration.
May 1, 2019
What Are Some Substitutes for Cornstarch in Pudding?
Q: What can I use in place of cornstarch when making a pudding? Also, is the substitution a one-to-one ratio? Sent by Patricia Editor: Arrowroot is great a substitute for pudding, and in my opinion, turns out a superior product since its flavor tends to be more neutral than cornstarch. About two teaspoons of arrowroot flour equals 1 tablespoon cornstarch, so be sure to make the switch accordingly. Tapioca or rice flour are other great options as well.
May 1, 2019